KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) ARE YOU TIRED OF ALL THE HOOPLA AND BUILD UP LEADING UP TO THIS RACE? "I'm not too tired of it. I feel like the (Chase) system is a neat system. It creates a lot to talk and that's what we're doing.
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
ARE YOU TIRED OF ALL THE HOOPLA AND BUILD UP LEADING UP TO THIS RACE? "I'm not too tired of it. I feel like the (Chase) system is a neat system. It creates a lot to talk and that's what we're doing. Our Budweiser Dodge team is right in the middle; we're one of the teams that you want to talk about. A lot has been said about it (the Chase). It is part of the system and it's neat because there is more for the fans to be interested in and to entertain them before you get to the Chase. The final 10 (races) will be the same."
DO YOU HAVE THE SAME FEELING THAT YOU HAD TWO YEARS AGO WHEN YOU RACED YOUR WAY INTO THE CHASE? "The only difference is that in '06 we won California and that was a huge boost. Then we came here and ran well too. After we won California, it really shot us up. In California last week, we finished eighth and it didn't shoot us up (in the points) that much. So we have a little bit further to go this time and we're going against two really good cars like we did in '06. Now we're going against Ragan and Bowyer. So it will be interesting. Just look at the times (in practice). Bowyer's car is good. Ragan's car is good. My car is good. It' going to be interesting to see how it all ends up -- it's going to be a long race -- hopefully we're good at the end."
YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF BEING ABLE TO WIN THE BIG RACE WHEN YOU NEED TO: "Yeah. Our team steps up when it seems like the pressure is on. They do a good job of stepping up and giving me the best car they can - - the best of everything they can to give. I think that this will be a good weekend for us. Saturday night should be fun. I think that we'll have a good run and give it everything we got."
YOU MUST LIVE FOR THESE MOMENTS? "I do. I've always been a guy who likes to be part of it. Whether there's pressure late in the race battling someone for a win -- that kind of stuff -- I enjoy that. I enjoy the pressure and trying to step up and do the best that I can. I think there are other drivers in this series that enjoy it and are good at it."
ARE YOU RACING THE TWO GUYS IN FRONT OF YOU IN POINTS OR ARE YOU RACING THE TRACK? "I really don't care where they are at until after the race. I'll wonder (where they are at) because I want to make the Chase so bad. As far as during the race, I hope that I never see them. Hopefully they are somewhere else on the race track. We'll do our thing and they will do their thing. We'll see where it's at in the end. All we can do is to go out and try and lead laps, win the race and do everything possible to have our best performance, the best finish that we can and look at the points at the end of the night. If I start racing them, I don't think that will be the key to get that best finish."
DO YOU TRY NOT TO GET TOO JAZZED UP ABOUT THE RACE BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T GET IT, YOU WON'T BE SO DISAPPOINTED? "If I don't make it in (the Chase), I'm going to be really disappointed on how things ended up this season. I feel like we've been a top-10 team all year long. We had two bad races and now we're battling for 12th in points. I feel like we're better than that. It's the way it is, but I feel like we're better than that. Yeah, I'll be disappointed if I don't make it (Chase) regardless what happens tomorrow night. If I win the race and don't make it or finish last and don't make it, I'll still be upset."
HOW MUCH WILL THE ANTICIPATED RAIN AFFECT THE TRACK FOR TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE? "It will change it for the first 15 or 20 laps, but once you get 43 cars on the track, I think it will get right back to where it was. From there, once the sun goes down on Saturday night, it does its own thing all together. This track picks up rubber pretty quick. It gets back in a hurry."
HAVE YOU GUYS PREPARED FOR A DAY RACE ON SUNDAY? "We've just been practicing trying to get the best balance that we can get in the car. Whether it's day or night, we'll see what happens. It doesn't matter to me what it is."
DO YOU SET YOUR SIGHTS ON DAVID RAGAN OR ALL THE GUYS WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE THE TOP-12? "I haven't really thought too much about it. I took this week off. I did some dirt stuff this week. I did my own things this week. I did a couple of appearances for some fans -- some fan club stuff. I really haven't looked at the points. I know I'm 48 (points) out because (Bob) Dillner (Speed TV reporter) told me that after the California race. Other than that, I haven't looked at anything else. I don't know where anybody else sits. I know the only way that we're going tom make the Chase is to finish up front, lead laps and try to get as many bonus points as we can. If that happens, we can ether make it or not. That's all we can do."
SO HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MINDSET COMING INTO THIS RACE? "The same as last week; I'll race as hard as I can every single lap. That's what I did last weekend. I raced 250 laps like they were the last laps and we ended up finishing eighth. That's the best that we could do. It was just a hard fought race and that's the way it's going to be tomorrow night."
IF YOU DO GET IN THE CHASE, YOU'LL ACTUALLY JUMP UP TO FOURTH IN POINTS? "It's nice. I like that bonus point structure. The way they (NASCAR) did that helps people to go for wins -- to be more excited to get wins and see how they help you in the Chase because the Chase means so much. That will be good for us. We have to make it first."
DO YOU THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE MORE OF A STRUCTURE OR BONUS FOR WINNING RACES? "I don't know. That's the thing that I've always said about different rules and different things. I about missed (the Chase) in '06 and had the most wins. Then they (NASCAR) made a rule the next year helping the ones who win the races. I think it's up to NASCAR. They make the rules. They do a good job. If they want to add more points - great. If they don't want to add more points - great. I just race."
-credit: dodge motorsports